What is ageism and how might it be affecting your health? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Ageism refers to prejudicial views on older people that are pervasive and damaging. Studies examining the impact of ageism demonstrate that it exerts a negative influence on all concerned, not just older people. And it begins as societal norms and mores children as young as four years of age are aware of. That’s according to Colleen Christmas, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins.

Christmas: Increasingly it's going to be harder and harder for this to be hidden from us. We want to ignore the older adults existence. Society we want to say if you're in a nursing home we're not going to think about you and we're going to pretend you don't exist, but these numbers are growing and growing and growing. By 2034 there's going to be more older adults than younger adults so about 20% of the population is going to be over 65 just by 2030. So this is coming and coming very very soon.                :28

Christmas says awareness of this issue will need to precede any efforts of overcome ageism, and that begins with personal awareness as well as that of healthcare systems. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.